Walker signing takes summer spending to over £130m
Man City’s capture of Kyle Walker took their summer spending to £130 million and bookmakers have responded by installing them as clear favourites to win the Premiership next season. Pep Guardiola endured his first trophyless season as a manager last time out, but the bookies feel he will have learned enough in his debut season in England to make amends next time out. City are 2/1 favourites, followed by Chelsea and Man Utd at 7/2, and then Spurs are all the way out at 10/1. Most of the action is also going on City, as the public is also convinced they can get the job done, and there are exciting times ahead for City fans.
Of course, City were favourites last season after Guardiola arrived and could only finish third, despite getting off to a superb start. But the Spaniard has addressed key weaknesses in his team and has been brutal in the way he has sought to correct them. Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna were all shown the door and Aleksandar Kolarov is not expected to get much of a look in, with City targeting four new full-backs. Walker has already arrived and further signings are imminent. Guardiola has also admitted his mistake in signing Claudio Bravo by breaking the world record for a transfer fee on a goalkeeper to bring in Benfica stopper Ederson. City’s abundant riches in attack have been strengthened further by the £45 million arrival of Bernardo Silva, one of the lynchpins of Monaco’s superb side from last season. Nolito and Jesus Navas have been given the boot to make way for him.
City are going to be exceptional going forward next season. With Bernardo joining Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero in attack, with Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Yaya Toure in the mix, they should outscore everyone in the league.
Scoring goals has never been a problem for City in recent times, however, and it is defensively that they must improve. They conceded 39 goals last season, six more than champions Chelsea and 13 more than runners-up Tottenham. It also cost them dearly in the Champions League as they let Monaco terrorise them. New full-backs will help, as will the new goalkeeper, but they really need to improve at centre-back. If they get a full season out of Vincent Kompany that would make all the difference, but given his recent injury record you simply cannot count on that. John Stones, a big money signing from Everton, was frequently calamitous last season. He is great on the ball but suspect defensively, and that is a big worry, as is the error prone nature of Nicolas Otamendi’s game. Virgil Van Dijk is being linked with all and sundry this summer transfer window, and he would be a great addition to the City squad, but they have not really been linked with him or any other centre-backs.
Guardiola is hell-bent on buying full-backs, but unless he strengthens in the centre of defence there are always going to be question marks hanging over City’s ability to sustain a title challenge. No hints have been dropped or rumours circulated around this crucial position and that will be a worry for City fans. Spurs have Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier there, and Chelsea have the likes of David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Kurt Zouma and now Antonio Rudiger, so City really need to step up efforts in that position. If they do, then they should walk the title, given their attacking riches. If they do, back them to the hilt. YouWager will offer competive odds for Manchester City, review them before placing actions, and go for it: the chance to treble your money on a city title win will be too good to ignore if Guardiola assembles as formidable a defence as the attack he has already put together.